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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2013, Article ID 270523, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/270523
Research Article

Contrast Improvement in Sub- and Ultraharmonic Ultrasound Contrast Imaging by Combining Several Hammerstein Models

1Université François Rabelais de Tours, UMR-S930, 37032 Tours, France
2IUT Ville d'Avray, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, 92410 Ville d'Avray, France
3Département de Physique et d’Électronique, Faculté des Sciences I, Université Libanaise, Hadath, Lebanon

Received 12 April 2013; Accepted 6 September 2013

Academic Editor: Guowei Wei

Copyright © 2013 Fatima Sbeity et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sub- and ultraharmonic (SUH) ultrasound contrast imaging is an alternative modality to the second harmonic imaging, since, in specific conditions it could produce high quality echographic images. This modality enables the contrast enhancement of echographic images by using SUH present in the contrast agent response but absent from the nonperfused tissue. For a better access to the components generated by the ultrasound contrast agents, nonlinear techniques based on Hammerstein model are preferred. As the major limitation of Hammerstein model is its capacity of modeling harmonic components only, in this work we propose two methods allowing to model SUH. These new methods use several Hammerstein models to identify contrast agent signals having SUH components and to separate these components from harmonic components. The application of the proposed methods for modeling simulated contrast agent signals shows their efficiency in modeling these signals and in separating SUH components. The achieved gain with respect to the standard Hammerstein model was 26.8 dB and 22.8 dB for the two proposed methods, respectively.